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Cool New Technologies for HR

Thursday, September 25, 2008
Cool New Technologies for HR

Five vendors have been chosen to blow your mind at the "Cool New Technologies for HR" session at next month's HR Technology Conference® in Chicago. Beyond being fun and entertaining, their products are all available now to help improve the work of recruiting, performance management, training and social networking.

By Bill Kutik


For the last six months, I have sat through countless dizzying WebEx software demonstrations searching for five vendors to include in the "Cool New Technologies for HR" session at the HR Technology Conference® in three weeks in Chicago.


BrandGames: This New York-based company remains one of the market leaders in using 3-D video games for legitimate corporate purposes. In 2006, they showed a CD they produced for Johnson & Johnson to give away to hospitals that trained nurses making the transition to nurse-managers using job simulations.

This time they'll be showing "Nokia Buzztribe," a game designed to educate retail sales reps, many of whom are 18-to-24-year-old males, on the company's latest products. The demo will also include a game used as part of new-employee orientation at Arrow Electronics, a global provider of electronics and computer products. And, if there's time, maybe their most ambitious game to date: The Robot Games, designed to teach people about diabetes and how to live with it, sponsored by Daiichi-Sankyo.

InterviewStudio.com: At this year's Peopleclick Global Customer Conference, three recruiting experts -- Elaine Orler of Knowledge Infusion, Gerry Crispin of CareerXroads and Madeline Tarquinio of ERE -- all declared video to be a "fad" in recruiting and definitely not a trend. CEO Colleen Aylward will try to convince you they're wrong with her Web portal where job seekers can create an overall presentation of themselves from all imaginable sources -- including a video interview -- and also gives recruiters tools to go beyond it. A classic "mash-up" in current Web 2.0 talk. And definitely not the video resumes that no recruiter seems to want to bother looking at.

Sonar6: This small company has been around for awhile and was even named a "Cool Vendor" by Gartner in 2007. But when you're in Auckland, New Zealand, it's a little hard to get noticed in the United States., even when you've run the table at home and in Australia selling to just about every big private and public organization around. Sonar6 has an amazingly graphics-based performance-management system and will be releasing Version 3.0 at the HR Technology Conference®. I promise you will not have seen anything like it before.

cubeless: With all the buzz about social networking, you shouldn't be surprised there are dozens of vendors offering software packages to create private corporate networks, rather than such familiar public ones as LinkedIn and Facebook. Dow Chemical will talk about its use of one, SelectMinds, on Wednesday morning at the conference. Crispin, the recruiting guru, will discuss their use for recruiting on Friday morning.


eTelemetry/Orgnet.com: Before there were online social networks, there were real world networks where people talked to each other face to face, dropped by each other's offices, went out to lunch together and sent each other memos (later e-mail) with no regard for the official org chart.

For more than a dozen years, Valdis Krebs of Orgnet.com has used his software to find those networks, discover their leaders and use that knowledge to improve organizations. The Defense Department also called on him to analyze terrorist cells after 9/11.

But the heavy lifting of data gathering to do his social-network analysis kept it a pricey consulting project. Now eTelemetry has tools that dynamically capture e-mail, surfing and chatting activity in real-time to feed Valdis' graphical analytic engine. Don't miss the results.

This session is looking to be the most popular at this year's conference (as the earlier one was in 2006), so if you're attending, be sure to arrive early for a seat. And if you're not coming to Chicago, check out their Web sites.

But I hope you're there to see all of them.

HR Technology Columnist Bill Kutik is co-chairman of the 11th Annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition® in Chicago, Oct. 15 to 17. Read the full agenda and register before many discounts expire on Sept. 26 at www.HRTechnologyConference.com. He is also host of The Bill Kutik Radio Show. He can be reached at bkutik@earthlink.net.

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